If you have ever tasted one of the pasties made by the St. Patrick’s Catholic Ladies Relief Society, you know they are the real deal. Making pasties is just one of several fundraisers the organization hosts.
A member of the organization for more than 30 years, Maria Dilts, having grown up poor, first got involved because she wanted to give back to people experiencing poverty.
“I wanted to give back, and I knew this organization would help me do that much better than I could do on my own,” she says.
Maria has even gotten involved in the organization on a more significant level — serving as the treasurer for the Grand Council Catholic Ladies Relief Society through the diocese.
“I’ve had the chance to make friends with ladies in other parishes,” Maria says. “That’s been great.”
In February, the women make nearly 600 pasties, which are sold at St. Patrick’s and St. Canice. Maria chairs this fundraiser and enjoys getting together with the other women to make them. They gather on Wednesday to plan, then spend Thursday and Friday baking the pasties.
“It’s almost like a quilt group,” Maria says. “When we are making the pasties, we can visit, laugh, and have fun.”
The group also hosts a flea market in April. The vendors rent spots, and the Catholic Ladies members sell homemade food from the parish kitchen. In November, they hold a craft fair. This year’s craft fair is Nov. 4-5 at St. Patrick’s.
The Catholic Ladies Relief Society meets the first Thursday of each month, September through June, in St. Patrick’s small hall after morning Mass. All the money they raise supports local organizations such as Mount St. Mary’s Academy, Hospitality House, LivingWell Medical Clinic, and InterFaith Food Ministry. They also give monthly financial support to seminarians. After the Healing Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the ministry members host a thank-you meal for the parish.
One of the reasons Maria believes so strongly in being involved with the Catholic Ladies Relief Society is that she wants to follow her father’s example. He was always involved in the community after growing up in Mexico and coming to the United States.
Maria is so thankful to have the opportunity to serve through the Catholic Ladies Relief Society. She is grateful for all the women she has gotten to know through this group.
“St. Patrick’s is my second home,” she says. “The church has always been there for me.”
All women are welcome to get involved with the Catholic Ladies Relief Society — stop by a meeting on the first Thursday of the month after morning Mass.